CMS

CMS Announces Historic Changes to Physician Self-Referral Regulations

CMS Memo | November 22, 2020 – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized changes to outdated federal regulations that burdened health care providers with added administrative costs and impeded the health care system’s move toward value-based reimbursement. The Physician Self-Referral Law, also known as the “Stark Law,” generally prohibits a physician …

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CMS Request for Application: Value in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Initiative

CMS is announcing the Request for Application (RFA) open period (November 19, 2020 to January 3, 2021) for the Value in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment (ViT) Initiative The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Innovation Center) is announcing the Request for Application (RFA) for a new initiative that …

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CMS Nursing Home Podcast Series for Front Line Clinicians and Staff

CMS Beyond the Policy: Nursing Home Series for Frontline Clinicians and Staff The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is airing the first episode in a series of short podcasts for frontline nursing home staff. The series is designed to reinforce training and infection control practices in nursing homes to help combat the spread …

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CMS Urging Nursing Homes to Follow Established COVID-19 Guidelines This Holiday Season

CMS Memo | November 19, 2020 – Today, in advance of the approaching holiday season, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is urging nursing home staff, residents, and visitors to follow established guidelines for visitation and adherence to the core principles of infection prevention. These guidelines include: Remaining six feet apart from individuals …

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CMS to Celebrate the Power of Rural

Rural communities face their own unique challenges when it comes to accessing and receiving quality health care. Approximately 60 million Americans live in rural areas, with nearly every state having at least one rural county. Research has shown that rural Americans are disproportionately affected by certain health conditions compared to their urban counterparts due to factors …

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CMS Releases Nursing Home COVID-19 Training Data with Urgent Call to Action

Agency thanks nursing homes whose staff have completed free CMS training, but urges remaining homes to take advantage of this resource CMS Memo | November 18, 2020 – Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is publicly recognizing the 1,092 nursing homes at which 50% or more of their staff have completed CMS …

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CMS Will Retire the Original Compare Tools on December 1

CMS will retire the original Compare Tools on December 1. Use Medicare.gov’s Care Compare to find and compare health care providers. In early September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released Care Compare on Medicare.gov, which streamlines our eight original health care compare tools.  Since then, you’ve had the opportunity to use and …

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Understanding the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program

The Pharmacy Partnership for Long-term Care (LTC) Program provides end-to-end management of the COVID-19 vaccination process, including cold chain management, on-site vaccinations, and fulfillment of reporting requirements. The program facilitates safe vaccination of this patient population, while reducing burden on long-term care facilities (LTCFs) and jurisdictional health departments.   LTCF staff who have not received COVID-19 …

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COVID-19 Vaccine Codes and PC-ACE Software Update

In anticipation of the availability of a vaccine(s), for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the American Medical Association (AMA), working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), created new codes for the vaccine and the administration of the vaccine.  To prepare for the vaccine administration claims, …

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CMS Takes Steps to Ensure Medicare Beneficiaries Have Wide Access to COVID-19 Antibody Treatment

Coverage Available at No Cost to Beneficiaries Across Variety of Settings in Health Care System The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that starting November 13, Medicare beneficiaries can receive coverage of monoclonal antibodies to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with no cost-sharing during the public health emergency (PHE). CMS’ coverage of monoclonal antibody …

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CMS Webinar on Nov. 12: NTP Medicare Update & Education Webinar

November 12, 1-2:30PM EDT Join us as we share updates related to this year’s Marketplace Open Enrollment. Learn what you need to know if you have a Marketplace Plan and become eligible for Medicare. After registration, you’ll get an email with a calendar appointment. This webinar will be recorded. You don’t need to register to …

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CMS Releases Toolkit to Accelerate State Efforts to Rebalance Long-term Care Systems and Enhance Home and Community-Based Services for Eligible Medicaid Beneficiaries

The Trump Administration and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are delivering on their commitment to foster innovation in Medicaid by providing states with new tools to help beneficiaries return home from institutional settings without sacrificing safety or quality of care.   Today, CMS launched a new toolkit designed for state Medicaid agencies to strengthen …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls for November

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS’ New One-Stop Nursing Home Resource Center Assists Providers, Caregivers, Residents

October 30, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new online platform – the Nursing Home Resource Center – to serve as a centralized hub bringing together the latest information, guidance and data on nursing homes that is important to facilities, frontline providers, residents and their families, especially as the …

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Twice Monthly Live Q&A Sessions: CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

November 5, 2020 – January 7, 2021, 4-5PM EDT This live Q&A series is open to clinical and administrative nursing home staff members and others who have completed the self-paced, on-demand CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training hosted on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. These live Q&A Sessions are brought to you …

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CMS Webinar on October 8: Getting Ready for the Medicare Open Enrollment Period

October 8, 2020 This webinar was designed for those who help people with Medicare make informed decisions about their 2021 health care coverage. The webinar covered information regarding 2021 Medicare Program updates and resources. View the recording and accompanying materials on the CMS website. Questions? For assistance, please email NTPHelp@cms.hhs.gov.

CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – October

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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IPRO to Provide Hospital Quality Improvement Services for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Lake Success, NY, October 19, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has awarded a four-year contract to IPRO to serve as a Hospital Quality Improvement Contractor (HQIC) within its Network of Quality Improvement and Innovation Contractors (NQIIC). HQICs will provide targeted quality improvement assistance to small, rural and critical access hospitals …

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CMS Webinar: Staffing Challenges & Solutions: Insights from the Frontline

Tuesday, October 20, 2–3PM EDT Please join us for a National Learning and Action Network (LAN) event on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 2:00-3:00 PM ET. A LAN is a group of health care professionals and stakeholder organizations, convened by the QIO Program. The goal of the LAN is to improve patient care and population …

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Hispanic Heritage Month: Resources for Patients, Families, & Caregivers

Improve Health Equity During Hispanic Heritage Month From September 15 – October 15, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH), along with the IPRO QIN-QIO, honors National Hispanic Heritage Month. This year, CMS OMH is prioritizing health for the nation’s 60 million Hispanics by encouraging annual flu shots and …

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CMS Call on October 7: Substance Use Disorder Treatment during COVID-19

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder During the Public Health Emergency Wednesday, October 7, 3PM-4PM EDT CMS will host a Special Open Door Forum (ODF) to allow primary care providers, psychosocial support specialists, addiction medicine specialists, and other interested parties to ask questions on CMS’s actions to address the opioids crisis during the public health emergency …

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Register for Free Training on Coronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes

ECHO National Nursing Home COVID-19 Action Network presents a conversation with national experts on coronavirus testing in nursing homes. Coronavirus Testing in Nursing Homes October 1, 2020, 1:30 – 3:00 EDT Looking for more learning opportunities? Join an interactive community of practice to advance improvements in COVID-19 preparedness, safety, and infection control in nursing homes. …

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CMS Announces New Guidance for Safe Visitation in Nursing Homes

September 17, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance providing detailed recommendations on ways nursing homes can safely facilitate visitation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. After several months of visitor restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, CMS recognizes that physical separation from family and other …

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Report Released: Independent Nursing Home COVID-19 Commission Findings

The independent Coronavirus Commission for Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes released its final report to CMS on September 16. The Commission report was created to conduct an independent review and comprehensive assessments of confronting COVID-19. This report contains best practices that emphasize and reinforce CMS strategies and initiatives, including those implemented by Quality Innovation …

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CMS & CDC Trainings & Live Q&A Sessions on COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management

Trainings The CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series covers 13 topics that your nursing home staff must know to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. These trainings are housed on www.QIOProgram.org for 24/7 access. New, pre-recorded trainings will be released every Thursday at 4PM EDT through September 2020. Live Q&A Sessions Live …

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Initiative: CMS Announces CHART Model for Improving Rural Health

The CMS Innovation Center recently announced the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model to address disparities by providing a path for rural communities to transform health care delivery by leveraging innovative financial arrangements combined with operational and regulatory flexibilities. The Model aims to: Increase financial stability for rural providers by providing up-front investments …

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Resources: Where can I learn more about health equity?

View popular resources from our partners. Federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS): Office of Minority Health Health & Human Services (HHS): Health Disparities Partners The Community Guide: Health Equity Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: What is Health Equity? Rural Health Information Hub: Social Determinants of Health in Rural Communities Toolkit Social Determinants of Health …

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CMS Releases Long-Term Care Hospital Quality Reporting Program Web-Based Training

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is offering a web-based training course for those who are new to the Long-Term Care Hospital (LTCH) Quality Reporting Program (QRP). This course is designed to provide a general overview of the program as well as a variety of links and resources for additional information. Specific topics …

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CMS Stakeholder Calls: September 8-24

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. CMS COVID-19 …

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CMS Releases Interim Final Rule, Reporting Requirements Updates, and Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions

August 26, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is committed to taking critical steps to ensure America’s healthcare facilities are prepared to respond to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency (PHE). On August 25, 2020, an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) went on display at the Federal …

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CMS Launches National Training Program to Strengthen Nursing Home Infection Control Practices

New training provides education on critical safety measures to keep residents safe August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is implementing an unprecedented national nursing home training program for frontline nursing home staff and nursing home management. The training is designed to equip both frontline caregivers and their management with …

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Nursing Home Strategies for COVID-19 Only Isolation of COVID-19 Residents

August 25, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Medicaid Informational Bulletin (CIB) that provides guidance to states on flexibilities that are available to increase reimbursement for nursing facilities that implement specific infection control practices, such as designating a quarantine or isolation wing for COVID-19 patients. Nursing facilities are particularly …

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Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Twice a month on Friday, 12:30–2:00 PM EDT Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, strategies, and insights with one another related to their …

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Important CMS & CDC Nursing Home Training Series Change

Thursday, August 20, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) transitioned the live nursing home infection control trainings to a pre-recorded, self-paced format. New Trainings Series The new CMS-CDC Fundamentals of COVID-19 Prevention for Nursing Home Management training series will include 13 topics …

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CMS Webinar on August 24: Medicare Care Compare

August 24, 2-2:45PM EDT Requires Login. You’ll get an email and appointment after registration. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is making improvements to help people with Medicare find information about health care providers and services, as part of the eMedicare initiative to modernize and personalize your experiences with Medicare information. Care Compare …

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CMS Releases FAQs on MDPP Public Health Emergency Flexibilities

Do you have questions about the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Expanded Model Public Health Emergency (PHE) Flexibilities? The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist MDPP Suppliers as they continue to provide services to Medicare Beneficiaries. If you have additional questions, please contact CMS by visiting …

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CMS Announces Resumption of Routine Inspections of All Provider and Suppliers, Issues Updated Enforcement Guidance to States, and Posts Toolkit to Assist Nursing Homes

Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it will resume routine inspections of all Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers to improve the safety and quality of life of patients and residents. CMS had previously suspended certain routine inspections as part of its response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic …

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August is National Immunization Awareness Month

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Office of Minority Health is honoring National Immunization Awareness Month. Although vaccination rates are low among all adults in the U.S., research shows that racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected when it comes to receiving recommended vaccines. Many factors can contribute to lower vaccination rates, including …

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Learn More About 2020 Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program Requirements

In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continued its overhaul of the Medicare Promoting Interoperability Program to continue the advancement of certified electronic health record technology (CEHRT) utilization, focusing on burden reduction, and improving interoperability and patient access to health information. As a reminder, below are detailed requirements for the 2020 Medicare …

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Now Available: Web-Based Course on Hospice QRP Education and Training Resources

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides a web-based training course for hospices wanting a resource to the many trainings offered related to the Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).  The goal is to assist hospice staff to better determine and access those trainings and documents that meet their learning needs. This course is …

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SNF Provider Preview Reports – Now Available

Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Provider Preview Reports have been updated and are now available. The data contained within the Preview Reports is based on quality data submitted by SNFs between Q1 2019 – Q4 2019 (1/01/19 – 12/31/19) (for assessment-based measures) and Q4 2017 and Q3 2019 (10/01/17 – 9/30/19) (for claims-based measures). The data reflects what …

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Listening Session: CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule

Thursday, August 13, 1:30-3PM EDT Proposed changes to the CY 2021 Physician Fee Schedule are aimed at reducing burden, recognizing clinicians for the time they spend taking care of patients, removing unnecessary measures, and making it easier for clinicians to be on the path towards value-based care. During this listening session, CMS experts briefly cover …

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CMS Proposes Policies to Provide Seniors with More Choices and Lower Costs for Surgeries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing several policies that would give Medicare beneficiaries more choices in where they seek care and lower their out-of-pocket costs for surgeries. The proposed rule takes steps that would allow hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers to operate with better flexibility and patients to have what they …

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CMS Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries Beyond the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and Advances Access to Care in Rural Areas

Physician Fee Schedule Proposed Rule would make permanent certain telehealth and workforce flexibilities provided during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and improve healthcare for Americans in Rural Areas  The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that …

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COVID-19: Coverage of Physician Telehealth Services Provided to SNF Residents

The current COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) does not waive any requirements related to Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Consolidated Billing (CB). However, CMS added CPT codes 99441, 99442, and 99443, to the list of telehealth codes coverable under the waiver during the COVID-19 PHE. These codes designate three different time increments of telephone evaluation and …

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CMS Updates Medicare Payment Policies for Several Types of Healthcare Providers

Three final rules will strengthen Medicare program July 31, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalizing three Medicare payment rules that further advance our efforts to strengthen the Medicare program by better aligning payments for inpatient psychiatric facilities (IPF), skilled nursing facilities (SNF) and hospices. Inpatient Psychiatric Facilities IPF PPS …

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CMS and CDC announce provider reimbursement available for counseling patients to self-isolate at time of COVID-19 testing

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are announcing that payment is available to physicians and health care providers to counsel patients, at the time of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing, about the importance of self-isolation after they are tested and prior to the onset …

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Resources: Bringing Attention to Health Equity for People with Disabilities

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office (MMCO) is sharing messages and materials on supporting equal opportunities and inclusion for people with disabilities, many of whom are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid. On July 26, 1990 the ADA was enacted to prohibit discrimination against …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls: August 11-14

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Updates Data on COVID-19 Impacts on Medicare Beneficiaries

On July 28, 2020 – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released its first monthly update of data that provides a snapshot of the impact of COVID-19 on the Medicare population. For the first time, the snapshot includes data for American Indian/Alaskan Native Medicare beneficiaries. The new data indicate that American Indian/Alaskan Native beneficiaries …

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Home Health QRP COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is Available

The Home Health COVID-19 PHE Tip Sheet is now available. This tip sheet is designed to assist Home Health providers in understanding the status of the Home Health Quality Reporting Program (QRP) during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Also provided is practical guidance to address Home Health quality data submission requirements starting July 1, …

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OCR Issues Guidance on Civil Rights Protections Prohibiting Race, Color, and National Origin Discrimination During COVID-19

Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is issuing guidance to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance understand that they must comply with applicable federal civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin in HHS-funded …

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CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Engagement Calls – July

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19. These sessions are open to members of the healthcare community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts. Call details …

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CMS Announces Membership of Independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, …

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COVID-19: Nursing Home Testing, SNF Benefit Period Waiver

MLN Matters Special Edition Article SE20011 Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) Response to the Public Health Emergency on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is updated. Learn about: Updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for testing nursing home residents and patients Updated on applying the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) benefit period waiver

HHS Telemedicine Hack

A 10-week learning community to accelerate telemedicine implementation for ambulatory providers Wednesdays, July 22—Sept 23, 12-1PM ET Although telemedicine use has grown exponentially during the COVID-19 pandemic, many ambulatory providers still lack the knowledge and skills needed to implement video-based telemedicine into their practices. To support wide adoption of telemedicine, the U.S. Department of Health …

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CMS Call on July 17: COVID-19 Lessons from the Front Lines Call

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19 (Twice a month on Fridays at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern) Lessons from the Front Lines calls are a joint effort between CMS Administrator Seema Verma, FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, MD, and the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Physicians and other clinicians are invited to share their experience, ideas, …

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New England Town Hall on July 29: Substance Use & COVID-19: A Way Forward

July 29, 2020 @ 2-3:30PM EDT The US. Department of Health & Human Services hosted a New England Virtual Town Hall with the U.S. Surgeon General, VADM Jerome M. Adams, MD, MPH, entitled Substance Use and COVID-19: A Way Forward. This virtual, live New England Town Hall was designed to help our region chart a …

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Webinar on July 16: Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program Billing and Claims

July 16, 2020 @ 12:30pm EDT This webinar provides an overview on the Medicare Diabetes Prevention Program (MDPP) Billing and Claims process. During this webinar, participants learn key terms and entities involved in the billing and claims process, understand the MDPP payment structure and how it applies to billing, and learn how to successfully submit …

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CMS Directs Additional Resources to Nursing Homes in COVID-19 Hotspot Areas

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced the agency’s targeted approach to provide additional resources to nursing homes in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White …

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